( Courtesy California Leadership Foundation )

The California Agricultural Leadership Program will inaugurate 24 new members for its 50th class.

The California Agricultural Leadership Program is an advanced leadership development experience for emerging agricultural leaders, according to a news release. The new class will be inaugurated Oct. 10 at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District.

During the 17-month program, members participate in seminars delivered by partner universities Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Fresno State and University of California-Davis, according to the release. 

“After an application and alumni-assisted interview process that witnessed a record number of applicants, we are very pleased to announce the 24 individuals making up Class 50,” Barry Bedwell, president of the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation, said in the release. “This distinguished group, made up of 12 women and 12 men, will begin their 17-month formal leadership program shortly, but more importantly, this is the start of a lifelong leadership process that will not only make them better leaders but benefit California agriculture as well.”

CALF invests approximately $55,000 per fellow to participate, and more than 1,300 have participated in the program since the first class in 1970, according to the release.

The new class is:

  • Celeste Alonzo, Junior Enterprises LLC, Coachella
  • Leeann Bettencourt, Bonipak Produce, Santa Maria
  • Tyler Blackney, Wine Institute, Sacramento
  • Adrian Calixtro, Wonderful Orchards, Selma
  • Yezmin Carrasco Valle, Reiter Affiliated Cos, Oxnard
  • Mitch Coit, Marv Coit Inc., Firebaugh
  • Kris Costa, California Milk Advisory Board, Turlock
  • Natasha Crivelli, Chris and Natasha Crivelli Farms, Dos Palos 
  • Rocco Cunningham, R.O. Shelling & Barlas Feeds, Petaluma
  • Brian Gill, Gill Cattle/Nielsen Insurance, Exeter
  • Erin Gorter, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Templeton
  • Megan Grima, Stephens Ranch Inc., Yuba City
  • Ted Kingsley, Vann Bros., Williams
  • Lindsey Liebig, Sacramento County Farm Bureau, Galt
  • Holly Little, Acadian Seaplants, Walnut Grove
  • Julian Lopez, Imperial County, Imperial
  • Megan Marques, California Farm Bureau Federation, San Luis Obispo
  • Jonathan Merrill, Merrill Farms LLC, Salinas
  • Michael Newton, Newton Farms, Stratford
  • Erin O’Donnell, The Sun Valley Rice Co. LLC, Arbuckle
  • Brian O’Neill, Huron Orchard Services, Fresno
  • Matt Peyret, First Northern Bank, Woodland
  • Priscilla Rodriguez, Western Ag Processors Association, Fresno
  • Trevor Tagg, West-Gro Farms Inc., El Centro

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